Scott Peterson is a convicted murderer from the United States who is now sentenced to death in San Quentin State Prison. He was convicted in 2004 for murdering his wife, Laci, along with their unborn child.
His Life Before the Murder
Scott Peterson was born on October 24, 1972, in San Diego, California. His parents are Lee Arthur Peterson and Jacqueline Helen Latham. His parents had six children from their past relationships and Scott is the only child they have together. He grew up in a typical household, went to school, and even graduated with a degree in agricultural business.
The professors who Scott was under shared that he was a great model for students. Even Jim Ahem, his agribusiness professor, stated that he “wouldn’t mind having a class full of Scott Petersons.”
How Peterson Met His Future Wife
He met Laci for the first time at a restaurant sometime in 1994 when she gave him her phone number. Right after they met, Laci shared with her mother that she already found the guy she’ll marry. Later, Scott called her and the two immediately started dating. After being together for two years, the two moved in together.
About Their Marriage
After Laci graduated in 2007, the couple got married at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort. Laci found herself a job while Scott was completing his senior year. According to the prosecutors, Scott had two extramarital affairs within these times. In June 1998, Scott finished his degree in agricultural business.
After both of them finished their studies, they opened “The Shack,” a sports bar located in San Luis Obispo. Their business started really slow, but it slowly improved, particularly on weekends. In October 2000, the couple bought a bungalow house worth $177,000 near La Loma Park.
Peterson landed a job at a European fertilizer company, while Leni worked as a substitute teacher. Scott sold chemical nutrients, fertilizers, irrigation systems, and other similar products and was working on a monthly salary plus commission.
According to the people close to Leni, including her younger sister and mother, Leni loved being the ideal housewife. In 2002, she announced that she and Scott were expecting a baby.
In November 2002, when Leni was in her seven-month pregnancy, Scott met a massage therapist named Amber Frey. In later statements, Frey revealed that Scott told her that he was single and they had an affair.
What Happened to Scott Peterson?
Scott Peterson was arrested in April 2003 as the primary suspect of murdering his wife, Laci. Here is the timeline of what happened before and after Laci disappeared:
- December 23, 2002 – Scott and Leni went to the workplace of Amy Rocha, Leni’s sister. According to Amy, Scott offered to get the fruit basket he got for their grandfather as a Christmas present as he’d be playing golf somewhere near. The prosecutors stated as well that Scott told people that he will be playing golf on Christmas Eve. Around 8:30 P.M., Sharon Rocha, Laci’s mom, spoke to her on the phone.
- Scott told the police that the last time he saw his wife was December 24, 2002, around 9:30 A.M, right before he left to go fishing.
- According to the news, Scott reported Leni missing from their home. However, it was also reported that when Leni was still missing at 5:15 P.M., Scott called his in-laws and Leni’s stepfather called the police right away.
- When Leni went missing, she was close to eight months of her pregnancy. Their unborn child was a boy and they were planning to name him Conner.
- Leni Peterson went missing on Christmas Eve and it sparked interest among the general public. The cause and time of her death were never solved.
As the Primary Suspect
The police did not reveal right away to the public that Peterson was the main suspect. This was because their families had faith that he was innocent. The suspicions became stronger when Scott was not consistent with his stories. In January 2003, it was found out that Scott had numerous affairs. Frey even went to the police as she was worried she was dating a man who was married to someone missing.
At a press conference days later, the family of Leni withdrew their support of Scott. According to them, although they were angered with his affairs, these were not the main reasons. They are furious that according to Frey, Scott told her that he lost his wife last December 9, 2002, days before Leni actually went missing. This seems to be an indication that Scott was already planning of getting rid of his wife.
He was arrested on April 18, 2003, near a golf course in La Jolla. He said that he was meeting his brother and father to play golf. However, his hair was dyed to blonde and his car was stuffed with various items, including camping equipment, Viagra tablets, and almost $15,000. He also had several clothes, cellular phones, and even the driver’s license of his brother.
According to his father, Scott was living in his car to avoid media attention. However, it was also an indication that he was fleeing away.
Where is Scott Peterson Now?
On November 12, 2004, Scott Peterson was convicted for two counts of murder. The first one was for killing his wife, Laci, and the second one was for killing their unborn child, Conner. The trial started on November 30 and was concluded on December 30, with a death penalty.
In March 2005, he was transferred to the San Quentin State Prison and joined over 700 inmates in the only death row facility in California.
Over the years, his attorney has filed for pleas for his case. In 2019, when Governor Gavin Newsom took office, he signed an executive order and issued a moratorium, stating that Californian prisoners are not be executed yet. This will remain effective until Newsom is replaced. The next elections will still be in 2022.Last modified: August 10, 2020